Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, SK11 9DL – Visit Now
The First Light Pavilion, a huge new addition to Jodrell Bank, has turned the already-impressive site into a must-see national heritage destination, fitting for a world leader in the history of astronomy.
A Unesco World Heritage Site, Jodrell Bank is home to the iconic Lovell Telescope, the largest the world had ever seen when it was completed in 1957. It’s still the third biggest telescope of its kind today and continues to search the stars, helping humanity pick away at the mysteries of our universe.
As well as being a site of vital scientific research – and a home to the awesome Bluedot Festival – the Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is a nationally significant visitor attraction, inspiring people of all ages to want to learn more about radio astronomy – something which revolutionised our understanding of the universe. And thanks to the all-new First Light Pavilion, more people than ever are flocking to Jodrell Bank to do just that.
The transformative First Light Project unlocks the potential of Jodrell Bank’s unique and inspiring history, creating a new must-see national heritage destination and offering spectacular new visitor facilities that cater to all ages.
The centrepiece of the project is the First Light Pavilion, a stunning new building constructed in the gardens of Jodrell Bank. The main structure of the pavilion, designed by the internationally-acclaimed architects HASSELL Studio, is a concrete dome – the largest in Europe – which has been buried and seeded to appear as a hill in the arboretum of the observatory. Inside is a new gallery dedicated to telling the story of Jodrell Bank, an immersive projection space and auditorium, and an education hub and cafe.
The gallery includes displays, objects and artefacts from the site’s rich history and incorporates the fabric of the original 1957 surface of the Lovell Telescope. Archive footage and large-scale projections animate the exhibition and bring the past to life. A beautiful 130 seat auditorium also feature, serving as a unique venue for events, evening lectures, live link-ups, planetarium shows and workshops.